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Bribery Scandal in Atlanta DOT

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The bribery scandal continues to show how bad it was at the City of Atlanta’s office
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The Mitzi Bickers trial found the pastor guilty of 9 of the 12 counts of operating a cash-for-contracts bribery scheme at Atlanta City Hall. Atlanta City Hall saw this as a major victory, but the work isn’t over. According to trial evidence, corruption may be more widespread than previously thought. Cotena P. Alexander and Rita Braswell were not on trial during the Pastor Mitzi Bickers’ trial. However, witnesses and testimony linked their names, which could mean another trail may come soon enough. The bribery scandal continues to show how bad it was at the City of Atlanta’s office.

Cotena P Alexander worked for the city for 22 years. She earned a promotion to the position of deputy commissioner of the Department of Transportation in January. This job title came with a pretty salary of $174k per year. It sounds like that could be a very comfortable number for anyone to live off of, but Alexander allegedly took tens of thousands of dollars from Bickers. This money was in exchange for steering contracts to a construction company owned by Elvin Mitchell. With this additional income, Alexander sourced the funds into non-traceable money orders. She claims she used the money to pay off $30,000 in credit card debt. There is no word on the total number of bribes she took in the bribery scandal.

Rita Braswell is the second name linked to the bribery scandal. Elvin Mitchell’s construction company named her directly as a co-conspirator. Braswell has worked in the Public Works office since 2005 and was promoted to Administrative Program Manager in July of 2011. The salary for her position is $141k. As soon as their names came up on the trail, both women were placed on administrative leave.

Consequences of a Bribery Scandal

Since then, the city has fired both women. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said the federal authorities never disclosed the women’s alleged roles in the bribery scandal. Both women are currently under investigation. The mayor did not say who is in charge of the investigation, but he did hint that it will come from higher-up agencies than his own.

Sentencing for Mitzi Bickers is not until July 12th. She can face up to 100 years behind bars, but the actual punishment will more than likely be a fraction of that. Alexander and Braswell can certainly look towards that trial and how it turned out as foreshadowing for their own future. They found Bickers guilty, which does not bode well for any conspirators in that case. In the meantime, Mayor Dickens feels it is necessary to go through all departments, not just the Atlanta Department of Transportation, and do a thorough cleaning. He guarantees that they will run the city of Atlanta with integrity and care.

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